Archive for police

Padlock and chain

Posted in Activism, Anarchism, Climate Camp, Climate change, Folk music, Police, political music, politics, radical art with tags , , , , , , , on December 17, 2010 by Weary Hobo

Dear Lurkers,

Two weeks ago, I was one of the people who locked-on to a coal track in a protest against the building of a new coal-fired power station. I don’t break the law regularly. Don’t even have a speeding fine. Two days ago I sat on a coal track to stop the trains and refused police requests to move. Over the past seven years I have tried a variety of ways to participate in the growing climate change movement including:

  • changing my light globes and lobbying my parents ; )
  • local campaigning, lobbying and protest at Macquarie University and in the community with ASEN and Climate Action Newtown and at work,
  • national lobbying of politicians and corporations, campaigning and creative actions with AYCC,
  • international actions with Youth of the United Nations NGOs, and
  • making activist climate music with The Lurkers

It is important that there is variety in the way we address an issue like climate change because it is an issue unlike any faced by the globe. I sincerely believe that all of these actions listed above help in small and large ways and congratulate you if you are doing any of them. On the weekend I took the further and less common step.

I did this because I reflected on what is effective. I don’t have cash to donate. I do climate unfriendly stuff like drive a car. I work and have fun. When I looked at what needs to happen in our community to get traction and what I can offer, this action fitted the spot. If you want to know more about Bayswater check out this site. As the UN negotiations to respond to climate change continue past their sixteenth year our planet continues to heat up due to coal burning and other fossil fuels. As our leaders talk about the difficult decisions without acting, the time to act is here.

In Copenhagen last year young people were asked by Kumi Naidoo from Greenpeace International to give their lives to solve climate change. He asked us to act, not out of desperation or fear but to act out of love for the world. Climate camp at Bayswater was overflowing with this love.

So that Friday, I went along to Climate Camp in the Hunter Valley and on Sunday I participated in civil disobediance with 130 other people. They were people from the local area including indigenous people, local farmers and city folk like me. I locked-on to seven other people making it impossible to be moved by the police while causing no property damage.

I was hooked up with carabeenas and rope to my old friend Erland as well as four sixteen year old girls from northern NSW. We had a huge amount of support and care from friends and activists who gave us sunscreen, water and food. We sat in the beating sun and heavy rain singing, dancing, telling stories and playing music for seven hours. There was even a radical marching band!

Police took us away in the paddy van and we sat in the holding cell for a few hours chatting and were out by 10:00pm. The under-age protestors got a lecture from the police and were let off without any charge! My court date is set for 21st February, 2011. Me and Erland will be heading back up to Muswellbrook on that Monday and might be let off the charge of ‘tresspass and remain’ and ‘ locking on’ with a Section 10 if we can show we are of ‘good character’.

The action was a coordinated, peaceful demonstration of the community’s frustration about expansion of coal-fired power stations in NSW. It was successful and positive. I feel proud to have been involved, even as someone who was not brought up to be politically active. Climate change is something that I think we can beat if we act in substantial ways now and continue to. I have not written this to convince you to lock-on but to explain my story.

When we were locked on we sang a lot of songs. One song by David Rovics resonated with lots of people. Here are the lyrics and here is a video of David singing it for some people arrested in the Copenhagen demonstrations.

So much gratitude to the Climate Camp organisers for creating such a wonderful event.


Weary H. and the lurkers

They’re keeping a file on me

Posted in Anarchism, ASIO, Climate Camp, Climate change, Culture, Hazelwood, Music, Police with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 30, 2010 by Desert Rat Shorty

It was nice to see so many fans with video cameras when we played at the Switch off Hazelhood protest last month.  Hazelwood power station is the most polluting power station in Australia.

At gigs, and even when we’re busking, people invariably take photos or videos.  I always wonder where on earth those dodgy videos end up…

I can only presume these coppers were desperate to show their mates back at the station the awesome Lurkers gig they missed out on.  Because if it was for ASIO, what the hell are they gonna do with a recording of The Lurkers playing Environmental Evangelism Makes no Friends?! 

Then again, maybe they were genuinely afraid of the protesters.  I know that nothing strikes fear into my heart quite like a papier mache globe.

There  so many cops at the protest, they had to get creative about their modes of transport.  We saw dirt bikes, helicopters, inflatable boats, 4WDs, horses. 

In fact I think the only transport mode missing was the elegant bicycle.  I guess that would have been too environmentally friendly for the occasion.

If you feel like doing something to save us all from the impending doom cause by climate change, join us at Climate Camp this weekend. 

If we’re in luck, we might even get a few cops turing up to The Lurkers songwriting workshop this Friday.  Cause nothing threatens the state quite like a rhyming couplet.

On riots

Posted in Activism, Climate change, Copenhagen with tags , , , , , , , , on December 15, 2009 by Desert Rat Shorty

Last night: we went to see Anne Feeney and David Rovics play in Christiania. We played a wonderful gig with them a few nights back so went back to soak up more.

As we were about to leave the bar there was an announcement that there were major riots outside and noone should leave the venue. It was really smokey and as Australians we didn’t really concieve of what ‘major riot’ might constitute. We headed out the back door as the front entrance was bolted. Outside there was tear gas, explosions and lots of traumatised looking people. Suddenly it felt more scary than fun so we scooted back up the stairs to the safety of the bar. With nothing else to do we played guitar, shared folk songs with some Norgeigens and waited it out. Several hours later, by about 1am we decided to try again. There was still the smell of tear gas and hundred of riot police vans shining huge intimidating lights at us. Luckily we were a bit of a colourful rag tag crew in colourful beanies, a couple of guitars and a garbage bag of campaign t-shirts. The Norgeigans managed to talk our way through about 4 policw check points. We had to leave our bikes behind though cause they were in a lock down zone.

People we spoke to said the riot started when police raided a meeting where Naomi Klein was talking – planning for peaceful civil disobedience on Wednesday (tomorrow). The police started arresting people preemptively at the meeting, which sparked the whole thing off.

The Danish Government has passed some totally ridiculous laws for the duration of the conference with some highlights being:
– the police have the right to body search you without suspicion if you are in a search zone
– you have the right to be body searched by an oficer of your own sex, though the police are allowed to deny you this right
– the police are allowed to make a preventative arrest although you have done nothing illegal to prevent unlawful acts from happening.

So far my tactic for deescalating tensions is to sing happy songs, wear rainbow coloured socks and keep smiling.

There is also a video taken last night in Christiania here.